March, 2017 browsing by month


Field Set For Annual Palm Springs Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Jesse Ortiz is the president of the So. California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), and he also pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. Photo By BOB OTTO

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The annual Palm Springs men’s fastpitch tournament is shaping up for a competitive confrontation among Southern California’s strongest NAFA A-Major to AA teams at Demuth Park, March 25-26.

Saturday’s action includes pool play that will determine seeding for Sunday’s single-elimination championship round. Click on (TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE)

Games are played at DeMuth Park and start at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the final contest scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sunday begins at 8 a.m. with the championship scheduled for 2 p.m.

Tournament Director, Vicki Oltean, has long been a major supporter of men’s fastpitch softball. She has held tournaments in Palm Springs for over 30 years.

Oltean can be reached at: (760) 323-8277 or email:

  • Ten So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) teams comprise the tournament
  • POOL A
    So. Calif. Heat
    Beaumont Coyotes
    A1 Rockies

    POOL B
    California Athletics
    So. Cal Bandits

  • Information provided by Jesse Ortiz, president of SCIFL

    Stepping Back In Time: Hicks brothers Ted and Al remain on top of fastpitch world

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    THE HICKS BROTHERS, Ted, left, and Al, are recognized internationally for their softball talents, especially hitting. TED is considered one of the country’s best right-handed hitters on the Decatur (IL) ADM nationally ranked team, while Al is ‘Mr. Consistency’ for Missouri power Walnut-Woods of St, Joseph. Constitution-Tribune Photo by Bob Carter

    By BOB CARTER / The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune Sports Editor
    July 31, 1984

    CHILLICOTHE, MO – The Mary Jane Hicks family held its typical fun-loving summer reunion at the Tomahawk homestead Sunday afternoon.

    Like many reunions before, fastpitch softball was the talk of the day.

    But this time, there was special emphasis placed on the upcoming ASA National Fastpitch Softball Tournament scheduled to open at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph on Friday, Sept. 7.

    Mary Jane’s three sons, will hold another reunion on the national softball turf, but this time, they’ll be playing on opposing teams.

    Al, at a ripe age of 44, is Mr. Handy Man on the St. Joseph Walnut-Woods team, the tournament’s host team.

    Al, called “Papa” by his teammates, will be used in his familiar role as the team’s designated hitter.

    The popular St. Joseph police officer, who has played for five different St. Joseph softball teams, knocked the cover off the ball last season, batting a sizzling .400. This season, Al is batting a respectable .300.

    Although gradually losing his foot speed, Al hasn’t lost his tough at the plate, ranking among the best Walnut-Woods has to offer.

    “I still see the ball good and I make contact,” Hicks said. “That’s the key to hitting.”

    How many playing years are left? Hicks isn’t sure, but he’s not ready to hang up the cleats yet.

    “I love the game,” he said. “As long as I can contribute and someone wants me, I’ll continue to play. I’ve been playing ball ever since I took up walking. It’s been an important part of my life.”

    Click to continue reading “Stepping Back In Time: Hicks brothers Ted and Al remain on top of fastpitch world”

    World fastball tournament returns to Kitchener in 2018

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    Kevin Schellenberger of the BC A’s leaps over New York Gremlins Ladisao Malarczuk to throw to first base for the double play during the 2016 ISC World Tournament. Gifted athletes such as Schellenberger and Malarczuk, will be playing in the 2018 World Tournament when it returns to Kitchener for a fifth time. Photo By BOB OTTO

    By Christine Rivet | Waterloo Region Record

    KITCHENER, ONT. CA. – The on-again and off-again relationship between local organizers and the American-based International Softball Congress is back on again.

    The ISC voted this week to bring its 36-team world club team championship tournament back to Kitchener in August 2018, for the fifth time in 16 years, after previously turning down a bid to bring it here next summer.

    “We know the ISC really wanted to come back to Kitchener,” said local bid committee member Jim Hallman. “We talked things over and worked things out.”

    The love-hate relationship between the two parties dates back even before a dispute in 2011 when the local committee withdrew its pledge to hold the event that summer because of the ISC’s tournament fees.

    “It kind of went sour before,” said Hallman, adding the unfavourable exchange rate on the Canadian dollar created “trouble spots” in the host committee’s budget. “But that’s water under the bridge now.”

    Click to continue reading “World fastball tournament returns to Kitchener in 2018”

    Kitchener to host 2018 ISC World Tournament

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    KITCHENER, ONTARIO, CA – Located east of Toronto and just north of the United States border, Kitchener is an excellent and easily reachable destination for any event – including the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament.

    And in 2018, Kitchener for a FIFTH time will host fastpitch softball’s most competitive event: The ISC World Tournament. Kitchener hosted the event in 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2014.

    See breaking story in The Record by Christine Rivet: World fastball tournament returns to Kitchener in 2018

    Typically, upwards of 40 or more teams battle for the opportunity to be crowned, “world champions of fastball.” Top teams are filled with talented ball players from the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and last but not least – Canada.

    So plan ahead to attend this prestigeous men’s fastpitch tournament, and stayed tuned for more information as it unfolds.

    Bud Olson helps foster the revival of men’s fastpitch in La Crosse

    Monday, March 20th, 2017

    BUD OLSON, NAFA Hall of Fame member (2014), is helping lead the effort to revive men’s fastpitch in LaCrosse, Wisc. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Some call them diehards. Some call them loyalists. Some call them movers and shakers. They’re the backbone of any worthy cause who roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

    And when it comes to men’s fastpitch, Ronn Kopp, Loren Lathrop and Bud Olson fit those labels perfectly.

    While many have long since given up, these three men continue the mission to revive the sport in Wisconsin. Maybe that’s why the state is the North American Fastpitch Association’s (NAFA) leader in team registration within the organization.

    Kopp is the NAFA president and Lathrop a vice president. Both have been with the organization since its inception in 1993. They run NAFA Wisconsin affairs, conduct tournaments and leagues, and help run one of the most successful national tournaments in the sport: the NAFA World Series.

    No doubt, they are true warriors.

    Though Olson isn’t a NAFA official, he’s leading an admirable effort to revive fastpitch in the La Crosse area: he runs a team, he recruits younger players and helps form leagues, he encourages city officials to support fastpitch, and he will be hosting the NAFA state tournament for the next three years.

    If every state had this type of commitment, the sport would be in much better shape.

    Olson grew up on a Wisconsin farm, attended a country school where he began playing fastpitch in first grade. At 14 he was playing in a 4-H league. By 15 his burgeoning talent landed him a spot on the Sioux Creek Farmers team in a men’s league.

    “I got my first hit when I was 10 against Bob Davis one of the top pitchers in the Barron County traveling League,” said Olson. “I made Chetek’s traveling team as a 16-year-old shortstop. When our 4-H team entered the Sand Creek Sunday Night league, I was playing four nights a week.”

    Click to continue reading “Bud Olson helps foster the revival of men’s fastpitch in La Crosse”

    SCIFL Masters League Underway in Santa Fe Springs

    Monday, March 13th, 2017

    BURBANK, Calif. – Ten strong masters teams (age 40-over) comprise the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League.

    Tournament action kicked off on Sunday, March 19th at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs. (Check with SCIFL website for results)

    Casa Trejo
    So. Cal Knights
    Juaneno Smokers
    Mega Quakes

    SCIFL opens men’s fastpitch tournament season In Palm Springs, California

    Monday, March 13th, 2017

    The 2017 Palm Springs Classic promises fast-paced men’s fastpitch softball action. Photo By BOB OTTO

    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) is opening its 2017 Alliance Tournament in Palm Springs, CA on March 25-26.

    The tournament is hosted by the City of Palm Springs with an entry fee of $430. The deadline to enter is Monday, March 20, 2017.

    Tournament Director Vicki Oltean can be reached at (760) 323-8277 or email:

  • PalmSpringsClassic2017SCIFLTournament

    Register now for 2017 NAFA Boys World Series

    Monday, March 13th, 2017

    VASSAR, Mich. – Contact Corey Haubenstricker for information on how to register your boys’ team in the North American Fastpitch Association World Series.

  • 989-529-9184
  • 321 Prospect St.
    Vassar, MI 48768